When a friend served Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, I immediately asked for her recipe. It was delicious. When I saw it took an hour and a half to make, I started thinking of short cuts to make it doable in my one-butt kitchen. I found two that cut the total time to about 35 minutes.
First, rather than baking the squash for 40 minutes in the oven, an Instant Pot can do the job in 10 minutes.
Second, I used leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip as the filling. At a recent family dinner, I made a double batch of Buffalo Chicken Dip, knowing we wouldn’t eat it all. Even if you make the dip from scratch, you can easily combine the ingredients in the time it takes to cook the squash in the Instant Pot.
The hardest part of making this dish is cutting the squash in half. The first time I did it, I used a big sharp knife, stuck it in the squash, and slowly worked my way around it. Since then, I’ve discovered an easier–and safer–way. In the recipe my friend shared with me from MindOverMunch.com, Alyssia Sheikh recommended poking holes in the squash and cooking it in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften it up before cutting. I’ve included her tip in the recipe below.
One big spaghetti squash boat will feed four people unless you’re really hungry. I look for the smallest spaghetti squash if I’m making a meal for two.
Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
- With an Instant Pot, the spaghetti squash cooks in 10 minutes.
- A microwave plate cover keeps food from splattering all over the microwave. This Collapsible Microwave Plate Cover/Colander does double duty as a plate cover and colander.
- Use a baking pan to heat the squash boats in the oven. This Baking Pan with Rack also comes with a silicone pad.
Serves 2 to 4
- 1 cup water
- 1 spaghetti squash (a 2-pound squash is about right for 2 people)
- leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip
If you don’t have any leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip, here’s what you’ll need:
- 4-ounces regular or lite cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup rotisserie chicken (or any leftover chicken), shredded
- 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- 1/4 cup lite ranch dressing
- 3/4 cups shredded Colby jack cheese, divided
- 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped and divided
- lite ranch or blue cheese dressing for garnish, optional
- blue cheese crumbles for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Poke holes in the squash with a fork and microwave 4 or 5 minutes to soften up the squash. Score all the way around the squash lengthwise with a knife, marking the line of the cut. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scrape out seeds.
Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the rack in the bottom. Put the two spaghetti squash halves on the rack.
Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Set Instant Pot to Manual and set time to 6 minutes. It could take 5 minutes or so for the pressure to build up. When the programmed cooking period is over, open the pressure-release valve. Make sure your hand isn’t above the vent; we wouldn’t want to add getting burned by an Instant Pot to the list of One-Butt Kitchen Mistakes. Carefully remove the squash with large tongs or oven mitts and place the squash on a baking sheet.
If you don’t have any leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip, add ingredients to a microwave-safe dish, reserving 2 tablespoons cheese to put on top and a pinch of chives for garnish.
Whether you’re using leftovers or fresh ingredients, heating them for a few minutes in the microwave makes it easier to mix in the spaghetti squash boat and reduces time in the oven. Cover the bowl with a microwavable plate cover or paper plate. Microwave on high for 2 to 4 minutes.
When the squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to shred the spaghetti-like strands. Mix half of the buffalo chicken dip into each spaghetti squash boat. (If you are using a small squash, you may not have room for all of the dip. Yay! More leftovers!)
Place the squash boats on a baking pan. Use a silicone mat or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
Garnish with extra Colby jack cheese, blue cheese crumbles, lite ranch or blue cheese dressing, and chives as desired.